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Herman (1901-1985) and Kathleen (1909-1997) Washington

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Herman (1901-1985) and Kathleen (1909-1997) Washington

Both Kathleen and Herman Washington were active in the community. Herman Washington was born in Springfield, West Virginia and worked for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad for about fifty years and did not retire until he was seventy-five years of age! It was then he told family members he discovered he was making more in retirement than he did when he was working. In his early years, during the 1920’s and 1930’s, employment opportunities were limited for young black men and as such he worked as a bell-hop at the Fort Cumberland Hotel.

An article in the October 9, 1938 edition of the Cumberland Sunday Times identifies “Mrs. Herman Washington” as being one of the leaders of the “first colored scout troop,” Tekakwitha Troop No. 15 of the Cumberland Girl Scouts. The troop was sponsored by Sts. Peter and Paul’s Church, had 10 members, and was the first for colored girls in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. A page on this website entitled "Colored" Girl Scout Troop, 1938” provides additional information about this Girl Scout Troop.

Kathleen is also identified elsewhere on this website on the page entitled “Frederick Street School Valentine Dance, 1926.” The photograph is from the Frederick Street (later Carver) School Yearbook and Kathleen Francis Washington is depicted on the far right of the front row. She was one of five girls competing in the school’s popularity contest. Kathleen is again depicted in a 1978 photograph placed on the “Carver High Students and Alumni” page.

Elsewhere both Herman and Katherine Washington are depicted in a newspaper article celebrating their daughter, Therese, being chosen by the Newspaper Guild of New York in May 1959 as the “Page One Ball Queen.”

The following obituary for Kathleen C. Washington appeared in the June 18, 1997 edition of the Cumberland Times-News:

“Kathleen C. Washington, 87, of Lions Manor Nursing Home, formerly of Wallace Street, Cumberland, died Tuesday, June 17, 1997, at Sacred Heart Hospital. Born Oct. 20, 1909, in Cumberland, she was the daughter of the late Raymond Francis and Frances (Brown) Francis. She also was preceded in death by her husband, Herman G. Washington. Mrs. Washington was a homemaker and a lifelong member of SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church. She is survived by two sons, Paul F. Washington, Bronx, N.Y., Herman J. Washington, Elyria, Ohio; three daughters, Therese E. Holmes, Hartsdale, N.Y., Angela Tolbert, Cumberland, and Bernadette Washington, Alexandria, Va.; one sister, Virginia Ann Greene, New York, N.Y.; six grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Friends will be received at the Leasure-Stein Funeral Home, 230 Baltimore Avenue, Cumberland, on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. only. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church on Friday, June 20, 1997, at 11:30 a.m. with Father Vance Pastorius, OFM, CAP., as celebrant. Interment will be in SS Peter and Paul Cemetery, Cumberland. “

The following obituary for Angela T. Washington-Tolbert, a daughter of Herman and Katherine’s, appeared in the March 27, 2005 edition of the Cumberland Times-News:

Angela T. Washington-Tolbert, Cumberland - Angela Toinette Washington-Tolbert, 59, of Cumberland, died on Saturday, March 26, 2005, at the WMHS Memorial Campus Hospital. Born July 6, 1945, in Cumberland, she was the daughter of the late Herman Gershman Washington and Kathleen Clemmons (Francis) Washington. Mrs. Tolbert was also preceded in death by her husband, Richard Tolbert. Mrs. Tolbert was a member of SS. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church. She is survived by her daughter, Yolanda T. Tolbert, Yonkers, N.Y.; her grandson, Justin Craig, Yonkers; her brothers, Paul F Washington and wife Bert, New Rochelle and Herman J. Washington and wife Rosemary, Elyria, Ohio; her twin sister, Bernadette Washington. Alexandria, Va.; a sister, Therese Holmes and husband Tyrone Hartsdale; many nieces and nephews and numerous cousins, and one special cousin, Dolores Gates-Thomas. A graveside service will be conducted at SS. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Cemetery at 9 a.m. on Tuesday with Father Milton Hipsley officiating. The family requests that memorials be made in Angela’s name to the Juvenile Diabetes Association, 200 East Joppa Road. Suite 105, Towson, MD 21286. The Adams Family Funeral Home, PA., 404 Decatur St., Cumberland, MD is in charge of the arrangements.


Photograph provided by Herman J. Washington

Collection Location:
Allegany County, Maryland

African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.

Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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